Need salad dressing tips


Connie Mac

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Does anyone have recipes or tips for salad dressings? I love salads but the store bought dressings are so full of sugar and preservatives....help! I'm starting tomorrow!

About two years ago, I started squeezng Mandarin oranges on my salad (and putting the squeezed chunks in the salad). Okay, sounds gross when I see it in writing but it's really tasty and amazing! Now, I cannot stand the blue cheese, ranch, French dressings, etc.

More often than not, now I just use lemon (as Rosie says above).

Try it! Let us know how it goes! PS-Congrats on starting your Whole30!!

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Please forgive the cut and paste, but I answered this on an older thread:

Several months ago I decided to ditch bottled salad dressings, because they always have bad oils, or sweetners, or something yucky in them. I started making homemade ones and they are SO MUCH BETTER TASTING! That is, of course, in addition to being much healthier. My whole family loves them!!

I just sort of read a bunch of recipes and come up with a formula that can be switched around depending on your mood, available ingredients, etc. I will either blend my ingredients in my magic bullet blender or use my stick immersion blender, but you could also just whisk them together by hand.

Basically, I use roughly 1/3 cup healthy fat (extra virgin olive oil is my usual) with 1/4 cup vinegar (there are lots of different types...read the labels to make sure they will fit Whole 30). Then I usually add 1 clove minced garlic. I salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, and then add whatever seasonings I want...italian seasoning for italian dressing, oregano and chil powder for mexican-type dressing, etc. Just play around with it and have fun! Some other ideas are using uncured, sugar-free bacon drippings instead of oil, and adding a little mustard to the mix. You can also sub lemon or lime juice for the vinegar. For an asian-themed dressing, add grated fresh ginger (or powdered ginger) and a little bit of almond butter. And try different vinegars - there are so many available!

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I do the same as chrissnipes - two parts olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar and a good squirt of Dijon, salt and pepper Shake it up hard and it gets a sort of creamy consistency. I keep a dressing bottle at work and make about a half a bottle at a time, which lasts several days for my lunch salad.

I like the idea of adding vinegar to homemade mayo ... gonna have to try that soon.

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The standard recipe is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid (vinegar, citrus, etc). add some garlic, shallots, dijon, seasonings to change it up. If you want the emulsification to stick, use either some homemade mayo or just add an egg (I usually cut back a bit of oil). I also usually add a splash of orange juice. A hint of sweetness really helps balance the taste of the dressing.

The best thing to do is start with a ratio, whip it up and taste it. Then adjust to what you and your family like. Make sure that your vinegar has no ADDED sulfites. All vinegars have a small amount of sulfites naturally and most mention it as "contains sulfites". Just make sure it's not in the ingredient list.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I make my own dressing using 2 parts EVOO, 1 part balsamic vinegar, and 1 part dijon mustard. Spice with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. You can adjust the mustard depending on taste.

I eat a ton of salad and I use it all the time.

I totally agree! If you find a really good quality mustard, that is really all you need. I make a week's worth in my container so it's ready to go. Just a shake needed and then pour and enjoy!

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I have been using a homemade mayo base, which is very very versatile, to emulate creamy dressings

I used the following tutorial to make fool proof homemade mayo. The trick is to let all of your ingredients come to room temperature, use extra light tasting olive oil (or some other neutral tasting oil of your choice), and blend with an immersion (or hand blender). I was tired of having to clean my 10 cup food processor every time I wanted to make dressing, so I went out to wal-mart and bought a $20 immersion blender and I love it!

Once you have your homemade mayo base you can throw in additional ingredients to transform it into various tasty dressings:

Caeser dressing:

Lemon juice to taste

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1-3 anchovy filets, finely chopped

salt/pepper

Avocado lime dressing:

Lime juice to taste

1-2 garlic cloves, pressed

Cilantro

1 avocado

Salt/pepper

Italian dressing:

Lemon juice to taste

FRESH sage, thyme, and rosemary, finely chopped

Salt/pepper

Ranch dressing:

Chives, finely chopped

Flat leaf parsley, fine chopped (very little is needed)

Dill, finely chopped

The list goes on...get creative! :)

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Do you need to put the dressing in the fridge when the dijon mustard is added? Mine keeps turning solid and I can't use it when I need it. First Whole30 Day 11!

I would recommend keeping dressing in the fridge in case you've added things like garlic, shallots, mustard, etc. But if it's just oil and vinegar, it's probably fine on the counter.

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I love salads, and I love basic salad dressings not store bought junk. So many people have already shared many great ideas here. So try them all. Here are a couple of ideas you may also want to try.

Base: 3 parts oil to 1 part "sour" (vinegar, citrus juice, etc).

Savory flavors to add: salt, pepper, herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, dill)

Spicy flavors to add: minced garlic, onions, shallots, green onions, mustard

Ok, here are some real out of the box ideas...

Try adding "sauces" or pastes... this is not unlike adding dijon mustard. Or if you were making a spicy thai "peanut sauce" you would mix in a nut butter right? Well, take out a little of the oil, and use a nut or seed butter instead. Tahini for example. I love Karam's Tahini Garlic sauce, and I will use it as an ingredient in salad dressing. Or let's say you have some left over W30 compliant gravy from your dinner last night. Mix a little of that in with some vinegar. It might sound strange, but what is gravy if not thickened oil... which is guess what... exactly what 90% of all store bought salad dressings are.

As for making "creamy" dressings... I think mayo or aioli are a great base for those.

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I haven't found a compliant dijon mustard. What is the brand/s that have been successful?

As far as I know, it's not "Dijon" unless it has wine in it... so if you want compliant Dijon, you'll probably have to look for a "cheap" brand... or maybe something labeled "Dijon Style".

I did some googling, and all the home made recipes I found also had honey in them.

My gut says you should just avoid this for Whole30. But there may be a way to get that "flavor" profile by avoiding the wine and honey. The basic recipe I've found online is: dry white wine, onion, garlic, mustard powder, honey, oil, salt. If you eliminate the wine and honey, you need to replace it with sweet and a little sour. You might be able to mess around with using a white wine vinegar (that's allowed in W30) and change the proportions to get the flavor. My Mom likes to say she tastes "horseradish" in Dijon, but it's not actually there, so maybe it's the wine that gives it that "bite"... so maybe adding a hint of horseradish would also help make it more Dijon like.

Good luck!

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I haven't found a compliant dijon mustard. What is the brand/s that have been successful?

Westbrae has a great stone ground mustard that is compliant and really good. It is Dijon-esque. Whole Foods carries it and so does New Seasons for those in the Portland area.

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